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123cosmo

The most confusing sexual orientation

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123cosmo

Though its true that every sexual orientation can be really confusing, i feel that asexuality is the most confusing. I cant be the only member on the site that accepts everyones likes and dislikes, but doesnt nessecarily fully understand all of it. Asexuality is just such a flexible term which is probably why most other people have trouble understanding it too. Dont get me wrong, im not trying to offend anyone. I know that people are born they way they are (or maybe youve only recently been asexual). Im just making the point that this is all very confusing. Well no matter how simple or complex your asexuality is, you should just enjoy some cake 🍰

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Guest

It is definitely one of the hardest to understand. There is much info and so much grey area. It can be hard to figure it out. I basically had to become a sex expert just to understand asexuality fully (the irony of that) and I still do not know if I really get all of it yet.

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FaerieFate

I don't think that it's the meanings that make it confusing. I think it's because when you feel sexual attraction, you can't imagine what it's liek to not feel it and vise versa. So when one is trying to explain how they feel to the other, it's like trying to explain the color red to a blind person.

To me, I see it like this.

Person 1: I'm red-green colorblind

Person 2: Oh, what's that?

Person 1: Oh, it's where you can't distinguish reds and greens very well.

Person 2: Oh! How do you know you're red-green color blind?

Person 1: Well, I can't see reds very well. I don't really know what red looks like, only that I don't see it.

Person 2: How do you know you don't see it?

Peron 1: Well, I don't really see any colors that are hot to me.

Person 2: Red doesn't always mean hot.

That's pretty much how I feel my conversations about asexuality go. One side can't really understand because they see it, but the other can't explain it because they don't know the difference, and the straight forward answer doesn't make sense because you think, "How can someone live not being able to see the color red?".

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Devil Kisses

I think asexuality along with homo/hetero flexibility is the most confusing. I think I'm grey-A and that's even more confusing. I often think I'm attracted to someone when I'm not. I ended up dating a guy I wasn't attracted to for almost a year because of it. Because my sexuality is so complicated I just stay closeted. If someone were to ask me to describe my sexuality, I would tell them I'm not really attracted to anyone.

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Absol

Asexuality is definitely confusing! :blink: Trying to figure out a lack of something that everyone else seems to experience is difficult. And another really confusing part is figuring out romantic orientation... for allosexuals it probably lines up with their sexual attraction for the most part. Most haven't even heard of romantic orientation, or that is separate from sexual attraction. But then there's romantic orientation for aces, who know damn well that it is different from sexual attraction, but have a hard time defining it because of the way romance is usually so intertwined with sex. Sooooooooo confusing! :wacko: :o

(I hope my thoughts are coherent, I probably shouldn't still be awake :P )

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Blakrana

I don't think that it's the meanings that make it confusing. I think it's because when you feel sexual attraction, you can't imagine what it's liek to not feel it and vise versa. So when one is trying to explain how they feel to the other, it's like trying to explain the color red to a blind person.

To me, I see it like this.

Person 1: I'm red-green colorblind

Person 2: Oh, what's that?

Person 1: Oh, it's where you can't distinguish reds and greens very well.

Person 2: Oh! How do you know you're red-green color blind?

Person 1: Well, I can't see reds very well. I don't really know what red looks like, only that I don't see it.

Person 2: How do you know you don't see it?

Peron 1: Well, I don't really see any colors that are hot to me.

Person 2: Red doesn't always mean hot.

That's pretty much how I feel my conversations about asexuality go. One side can't really understand because they see it, but the other can't explain it because they don't know the difference, and the straight forward answer doesn't make sense because you think, "How can someone live not being able to see the color red?".

This seems reasonably apt. Albeit practically speaking it's a bit more nuanced than that, Red-Green wise. Least, personally. Subjectivity is weird.

Heck, the 'oh but we told you what it is, you must see it now!' in terms of Colour blindness and Asexuality seems pretty similar, from what I've read/understood/felt. Seriously, some people actually act like telling me that a blue pen is actually purple changes what I see. It's still quite emphatically blue.

At the end of the day, it really is difficult to make people process what it means to not perceive something. I've even had people suggest I can choose to 'see' colour properly in dreams...even though imagination is ultimately based on your empirical experiences for base material.

Yes, people can go on and on about how so-and-so is 'hot', about how they're really good looking but...I don't see it. Much of the posturing just...tiresome. I'm far more interested the person really. Granted, I have an aesthetic and sensual preference, but I'm not exactly thrilled at letting it dictate too much.

Apologies to go on. Just found the comparison fairly reasonable. Just as you can't tell me Spyro is anything more than Blue in my eyes, you can't tell me 'random sexy celebrity' is actually 'sexy', if even someone I should be interested in.

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FaerieFate

I don't think that it's the meanings that make it confusing. I think it's because when you feel sexual attraction, you can't imagine what it's liek to not feel it and vise versa. So when one is trying to explain how they feel to the other, it's like trying to explain the color red to a blind person.

To me, I see it like this.

Person 1: I'm red-green colorblind

Person 2: Oh, what's that?

Person 1: Oh, it's where you can't distinguish reds and greens very well.

Person 2: Oh! How do you know you're red-green color blind?

Person 1: Well, I can't see reds very well. I don't really know what red looks like, only that I don't see it.

Person 2: How do you know you don't see it?

Peron 1: Well, I don't really see any colors that are hot to me.

Person 2: Red doesn't always mean hot.

That's pretty much how I feel my conversations about asexuality go. One side can't really understand because they see it, but the other can't explain it because they don't know the difference, and the straight forward answer doesn't make sense because you think, "How can someone live not being able to see the color red?".

This seems reasonably apt. Albeit practically speaking it's a bit more nuanced than that, Red-Green wise. Least, personally. Subjectivity is weird.

Heck, the 'oh but we told you what it is, you must see it now!' in terms of Colour blindness and Asexuality seems pretty similar, from what I've read/understood/felt. Seriously, some people actually act like telling me that a blue pen is actually purple changes what I see. It's still quite emphatically blue.

At the end of the day, it really is difficult to make people process what it means to not perceive something. I've even had people suggest I can choose to 'see' colour properly in dreams...even though imagination is ultimately based on your empirical experiences for base material.

Yes, people can go on and on about how so-and-so is 'hot', about how they're really good looking but...I don't see it. Much of the posturing just...tiresome. I'm far more interested the person really. Granted, I have an aesthetic and sensual preference, but I'm not exactly thrilled at letting it dictate too much.

Apologies to go on. Just found the comparison fairly reasonable. Just as you can't tell me Spyro is anything more than Blue in my eyes, you can't tell me 'random sexy celebrity' is actually 'sexy', if even someone I should be interested in.

I'm not color blind, but I've always compared describing sexual attraction to an asexual to describing the color red to a blind person. I had a step brother that was red green color blind and although I don't remember it affecting him, I felt that it was a good literal example for a subjective issue.

Because me telling someone I'm asexual is just like that conversation I came up with, and I know people are jerks about colors in the same way they are jerks about sexual attraction.

I remember I saw a chair that was a reddish purpleish color and called it a purple chair and everyone was on by ass calling me colorblind and telling me it was red.

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RedOwl

It is confusing!

First, it's hard to realise what you are, as there aren't many people who know about asexuality.

Second, it's hard to come to terms with the fact that you might be into the asexual expectrum.

Third, once you are there, it's hard to know in which segment of the spectrum you are exactly.

And if that wasn't enough struggle right there, it's also hard -once you have finally figured everything out- to explain it to people and make them understand.

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deltaX

I agree that in a lot of ways asexuality can seem like the hardest orientation for people to understand. I think it's partially because we are so unknown to the general public, so when someone hears about asexuality for the first time, it is usually after they've decided the straight, gay, and bi/pan are the only orientations. A lot of people find it hard to change their views on these types of things, especially when they don't understand it themselves, so for some it's easier to just reject it altogether.

It also doesn't help that there are so many misconceptions about asexuality, and that our community is so diverse. I can see how if it wasn't something that I wasn't personally experiencing, I would find it hard to pick out the misconceptions and to accept how different people use the label differently. I think our diversity is a good thing, but to outsiders it could certainly be hard to understand.

However, I do have to agree that every orientation is confusing, and maybe ours just seems to be the most confusing because it is the most "different". In every other orientation the person attracted to someone of some gender, and being attracted to no one makes us outsiders.

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The Ace Otaku

I find that Asexuality and Pansexuality are the two hardest to understand as it breaks the normal understandings that they have come to accept and take for granted, For example as a Demi-panromantic as well as an asexual I find I have do and equal amount of explaining on both, as Pansexuality(and Panromantic) break there complete understanding of a dual sex based system and this has lead to a load of conversations trying to explain the difference between physical sex and gender identity and with Asexuality it breaks their whole belief system about all beings having a desire to have sex and that there is not necessarily something wrong with somebody if they feel no sexual attraction. Also biology classes and the lack of suitable visibility doesn't help.

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FaerieFate

I find that Asexuality and Pansexuality are the two hardest to understand as it breaks the normal understandings that they have come to accept and take for granted, For example as a Demi-panromantic as well as an asexual I find I have do and equal amount of explaining on both, as Pansexuality(and Panromantic) break there complete understanding of a dual sex based system and this has lead to a load of conversations trying to explain the difference between physical sex and gender identity and with Asexuality it breaks their whole belief system about all beings having a desire to have sex and that there is not necessarily something wrong with somebody if they feel no sexual attraction. Also biology classes and the lack of suitable visibility doesn't help.

I was reading the L quote in your signature and was like, "Wow. This is cool. I lime this." Then I found out it was from Death Note and said, "Go figure. If course someone like L would say that."

On topic though, I'm a panromantic ace as well. I only came out as panromantic to my best friend. My sister thought asexual implied panromantic. My mom thinks in heteroromantic. Not that I let them think differently. My best friend was the only one to ask my romantic orientation, and I didn't know when she asked, but I told her when I knew.

I haven't told anyone because if I dated a girl, I don't think my friends or family would care. They accept me for me.

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Skycaptain

My personal opinion here. Where asexuality differs from other orientations is that there are alternative reasons for a lack of sexual attraction. People can be hetero/ homo /bi and all the other terminologies but they are attracted sexually to other people. That is what society conditions us to be.

When sexual attraction doesn't exist there are other physical, psychological, psychiatric , endocrinological and functional causes that have to be differentially undiagnosed before asexuality is left, almost ( and I am not happy about saying this but I cannot phrase it differently) as the default diagnosis when all other answers don't fit the bill.

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plaidclash

I completely agree. It's really hard to define asexuality because people often don't know EXACTLY what sexual attraction is, and they have trouble distinguishing the difference between that and other types of attraction (romantic, sensual, aesthetic, etc.). I also find it especially difficult to pinpoint asexuality because it's hard to understnad something you DON'T feel (sexual attraction). Being gay is simple, you are attracted to someone of the same gender, which is easy for others to comprehend. Being bisexual or pansexual isn't as easy, but people still understand it because they know what it feels like to be sexually attracted to a certain gender. With asexuality though, people do no know what it is like to not feel sexual attraction, it's like they physically cannot understand what a lack of attraction feels like, I guess. It's also hard for asexual people because of this wide spectrum... you've got demisexual, gray-a, sex repulsed, sex positive, sex neutral, non-libidoist, cupiosexual, autosexual, asexual, lithsexual, and sapiosexual (there are probably others, and I apologize if I forgot any!). Each person's perspective of what asexuality is is different. The way I experience it, is that I am grossed out by the physical aspect of sex, I feel no particular desire to have sex, I don't look at anyone and feel emotionally or physically drawn to them in a sexual way, I don't sexualize body parts, and I have no libido or "itch to scratch". Other people experience asexuality differently, which is why it can be confusing.

And don't even get me started on romantic orientations. It is especially difficult to understand and know for sure which gender(s) I am romantically attracted to, because this type of attraction is more subtle than sexual attraction. With gay, bi, poly, and pansexual people, they know whether they like dick or vagina or both or whatever. I, on the other hand, desire a romantic relationship with mainly women (or so I think... still questioning here) and sometimes more feminine men. It's awful and confusing and I feel like I will never be sure about this.

Anyway, THIS is why asexuality is confusing to me!!!

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Four Eyed Lemon

It's been insanely confusing for me, an asexual who has autochorissexual tendencies and hyperaesthetic tendencies on top of seeing an advice column addressing something I now recognize as asexuality as "you're just a late bloomer and will be attracted to people eventually uvu" and being straight up told asexuality doesn't exist by some people online when I was young and still learning about the LGBTQ+ community.

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Francoise Wang

I think the main reason that being asexual is very confusing is that most asexuals still have a libido, or masturbate regularly, or do enjoy sex, or would be aroused by sex-related things such as porns, sexual fantasies, fetishes, etc. Although these things have nothing to do with being sexually attracted to people, but most people would instinctively think that needing sexual release, enjoying sex, and being aroused by sex-related things are "sexual", and have difficulty differentiate "being aroused by sex-related things" from "being aroused by people in real life".

Also, most asexuals are still attracted to people. They may find people "hot" (experience strong aesthetic attraction towards people), or fall in love with people, and may desire sensual intamacy with people. Although aesthetic, romantic, and sensual attraction are completely different from sexual attraction, but many people have no idea that there are different types of attraction and one can experience other kinds of attraction without experiencing sexual attraction. Even if they know that, it's still difficult to differentiate different kinds of attractions and figure out what kinds of attractions the feelings they have exactly belong to.

For example, I'm an asexual who masturbate regularly and enjoy masturbating, and are aroused when imagining sexual situations of heterosexual sex. Also I'm heteromantic, I find some men "hot", tend to fall in love with men who I find physically attractive, and desire sensual intamacy with people I'm romantically attracted to. So it had been very difficult for me to figure out that although I'm attracted to men, and also aroused by imagining sexual situations of heterosexual sex, but there's no relation between these two things, and these two things are different from feeling sexual attraction.

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Philip027

Personally, in my head anyway, I don't feel like asexuality is that complicated.

"Remember how you (probably) were when you were a little kid? Yeah, that's how I am now."

It's possibly been easier for me to say things like that though, due to being nonlibidoist.

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Guest

Personally, in my head anyway, I don't feel like asexuality is that complicated.

"Remember how you (probably) were when you were a little kid? Yeah, that's how I am now."

It's possibly been easier for me to say things like that though, due to being nonlibidoist.

Well kids are actually capable of sexual acts, it just is not very common that they do and they can not ejaculate, but that is a whole other can of worms.

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Philip027

That's why I said (probably)

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GeorgeSand

Philip, interesting.

I can't remember a time when sex or intimate companionship (not Disney-style, mind you) wasn't a part of me. I had sensual dreams when I was oh, second grade, I want to say. Obviously, I couldn't have known what sex was actually like at that age, so it was pretty limited. But I would qualify some of the things I imagined or dreamed about as sexual, now. I think I began masturbating at the age of 11 or so?

Maybe I found some of my parents' books when I was young, and don't remember it. Otherwise, we lived in a rural area, so it's not like I was exposed to much TV. In any case, I had a strong sexual imagination LONG before I had sex for the first time, and I believe, in some ways, before I hit puberty.

EDIT: whoops, hit enter too soon.. again. Anyway, I was interested in boys by third or fourth grade, too. That would be, what, 9 or so years old? Again... not having sex at that time. But interested in more than just a platonic friendship sort of way. Wanting to be touched, even if not explicitly sexual. If that makes sense?

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Philip027

Philip, interesting.

I can't remember a time when sex or intimate companionship (not Disney-style, mind you) wasn't a part of me. I had sensual dreams when I was oh, second grade, I want to say. Obviously, I couldn't have known what sex was actually like at that age, so it was pretty limited. But I would qualify some of the things I imagined or dreamed about as sexual, now. I think I began masturbating at the age of 11 or so?

Yeah, I didn't even know what sex was until the age of 14, so my perspective is probably a little off from the norm.

Still though, I think *most* people can relate to not exactly feeling "sexual" back before they knew what sex was. That's what it's primarily like for me, except it persisted beyond that point.

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Daemien

A WALL of text in the spoiler, open at your own risk. The text is about my opinion why people can't understand asexuality and what we should do about it. I originally wanted to post it here, but it seemed more appropriate here.

I'm going to tell a little story about how i see people discovering asexuality, pitfalls and what i think is the source of disbelief (also as a guideline i'm using the way that i explained asexuality to my friend)

In my personal opinion, people find asexuality hard to understand because of how they define other sexualities and how they think other sexualities "work". (I really don't know much about gender, so i'll use the two i know, i hope i don't offend anyone) examples:

You are a guy and you have sex with other guys. You are homosexual.

You are a girl and you have sex with other girls; you are homosexual.

You are a guy and have sex with girls; you are heterosexual.

Most people would agree with these statements. But now lets consider this situation (a little extreme, but it will serve my point): You are a male stripper and you get paid to strip for a group of homosexual men. They pay you extra to have sex with one of them and you do (let's say, for examples sake, that is in your work description). Are you homosexual? Not necessarily, because you are still sexually attracted to girls. Most people would agree with this statement as well. Here people start to think in the right direction, but most stop because there is some tangible reason to do something that doesn't align with your sexuality.

EVERY sexuality is about what that person feels, not what that person does. The problem is that people can't know what other people feel, they can only know what other people do (first three examples), and they can excuse behavior that do not align with your sexuality if there are some other incentives (in the forth example its money). For asexuals there is no behavior that can be observed to "prove" that they are asexual. In some cases there is behavior that actually "proves" otherwise. BUT people can still be asexual and have sex, but to have sex they must have some other incentive, because we lack the original incentive (sexual desire/attraction). And here we have that problem again: i can not think of a reason, that is tangible, for asexual people to have sex (prostitution maybe?). So now we go into explaining mode for the first problem (read the first sentence of this paragraph if you don't know what i'm talking about).

Now that people understand that sexuality isn't about what you do, but rather what you feel, they can understand that asexual people CAN have sex and still be asexual, but they do not understand why they would. Here another problem arises:

Most people think that being a certain kind of sexual, you are disgusted by every other type of sexuals behavior. People take from their personal experience (and the media, friends, family etc.) and for example heterosexual men are mostly disgusted by male homosexual sex. We should note that while some asexuals are sex-repulsed, some aren't.

Ok so now people understand that asexuals can have sex and are not disgusted by it, so here it is where it gets tricky. Most people don't understand types of attraction and what actually makes an asexual you know... asexual. So we have to narrow our explanation to strictly SEXUAL attraction and explain that it is not the same as physical/aesthetical and romantic attraction. Now for example a two male friends go out and an attractive woman walks by. One guy is asexual, the other is heterosexual. Now how i would explain to that friend (me being an asexual) is: "I see that that woman has a nice body, beautiful hair, cute face, but nothing about that makes me want to have sex with her. To me she is aesthetically attractive." Now some more in depth explaining ensues.

At this point i think most people are able to accept any kind of asexual and any reason an asexual would have for having sex. My personal reason is: "I love her and she want sex, i am not opposed and it makes her happy so i'll gladly do it"

So a few steps that need to be taken care of (also TL;DR):

1. Sexuality is about feeling not acting

2. Asexuality =/= sex repulsion

3. Explaining the different types of attraction and that asexuality is ONLY tied to sexual attraction

4. After they accept the 3 points above, they are ready to dive into this world and meet all the great people that hang around here, learn about aros, demis, and everything else that they didn't even know exists

And for the final note, something that i have learned in the past 2 years that i have been in science: "The BEST way to learn about something is to study the absence of that thing"

*spongebob transition voice*: "Two hours later"

Hope you enjoy ^^

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